Google Stadia Adds Party Stream and Resume Live Features

Google is introducing Stadia improvements including Party Stream, which lets players invite up to nine others to participate in a game session directly through the Stadia app, eliminating the need for a third-party intermediary. Friends can be invited to play along or just watch in any combination, limited to a total of 10. Stadia’s Party Stream chat makes voice and emoji reactions available. Party Stream is available beginning this week to desktop users and through the mobile web on Android. Also new, ”resume live stream” lets players switch Stadia games without having to end a live stream.

While it’s common to be able to switch between streams on the fly with third-party software like OBS, that was previously not possible on Stadia, where it was one of the most frequently requested updates.

“The new feature will allow the player to end a game without ending a stream, then switch to a new one or even an entirely new device,” reports XDA Developers, noting users can now “for example, start by streaming ‘Destiny 2’ from your PC, end the game, then pick up playing ‘Far Cry 6’ on your Android tablet. All without ending the stream.”

Streamers who switch between Stadia games will see a “Resume Live Stream” prompt they can click to keep their stream going. Calling the update “a small touch, but a big quality of life improvement for those content creators who stream directly to YouTube,” XDA says the new feature “will be rolling out in stages but all Stadia players are expected to have it within a week.”

Party Stream is being added on the same time frame. “If you’re the one broadcasting, you’ll see on-screen popups to let you know when one of your friends starts watching, and also when they post a message or reaction,” XDA reports, calling Party Stream “another example of a feature that the cloud can offer where other platforms simply can’t right now.”

Party Stream “accommodates gamers who don’t want to broadcast their games to the world — but merely wants to share it with a few friends,” writes Engadget. “We’ve already seen platforms like Discord (with its Go Live feature) tap into this need to game-stream to a select few. Party Stream also saves Stadia players the trouble of using Twitch to share games with friends, which requires downloading a third-party encoder.”